Google is updating Maps for desktop, Android and iOS to give it a cleaner look and make it visually appealing. “The real world is changing every second and Google Maps is changing with it,” said Zhou Bailiang, UX Designer, Google Maps and Mark Li, Software Engineer, Google Local in a blogpost.
First up, Google has removed a few elements like road outlines to give Maps a cleaner look. The change also makes it easier to see helpful information like traffic and transit. “And we’ve improved for the typography of street names, points of interest, transit stations, and more to make them more distinguishable from other things on the map, helping you navigate the world with fewer distractions,” said Bailiang and Li.
Google Maps will now show local information in new ways using new colour scheme. The “areas of interest” or places where there’s a lot of activities and things to do will be represented in orange. Clicking and zooming in to orange-shaded area will show more details about each venue. Google determine “areas of interest” with an algorithmic process. The process basically highlights the areas with the highest concentration of restaurants, bars and shops. “In high-density areas like NYC, we use a human touch to make sure we’re showing the most active areas,” Bailiang and Li added.
Google Maps now has a subtle color scheme to differentiate between man-made or natural features. This helps users identify places like hospitals, schools or highways. With the new updates, Google is aiming to make Maps easier to use.
According to reports, Google Maps is expected to get WiFi only mode soon. Users need to have Maps v9.32 installed in their smartphones to use the feature, although the new feature is being rolled out in stages. The mode allows users to switch to a WiFi connection while using the Google Maps app. The WiFi-only option is available in the Settings menu of the app.